Thursday, December 8, 2011

Book Review: "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline

This book was frigging awesome! Children of the 80s, especially video game junkies, here is the book for you. Combining the adventure, danger, action, companionship, romance, violence, and fantasy of the best quest novels with fantastic 80s trivia, Ernest Cline has outdone himself with his very first book.

It's 2044, and the real world is an awful place. The environment has been destroyed, there's a worldwide energy shortage, nearly all people live in abject poverty, and the only escape is plugging into OASIS, a virtual world made up of thousands of planets, where you can be anyone or anything you want to, do anything you want, even fall in love. Because schools became so dangerous they have been replicated virtually on OASIS, ensuring students pay attention and face no threat of bullying. Like everyone else, Wade Watts uses OASIS to escape the bleak world he lives in. And one day, the creator of OASIS, James Halliday—a highly eccentric, 80s-obssessed multibillionaire—dies, but he leaves one final gift for the world, a series of puzzles and challenges sure to test anyone. But the winner will have ultimate control of OASIS. And the challenges are unlike anything you could imagine. Wade, like millions of others, tries and tries to solve the challenges for years, until one day, he stumbles onto the first clue. And then the greatest adventure—and the greatest threats—of his life begins.

I'm a sucker for books about a noble hero on a quest, so needless to say, Ready Player One sucked me in from the get-go. This is a story about courage, friendship, love, good, and evil, with the 1980s and the worlds of classic video and adventure games and anime as its backdrop. Cline definitely lets you get lost in the geekery, but he has created terrific, memorable characters who draw you into their lives, and the action sequences are fast-paced and creative. I can only imagine what a phenomenal movie this would be, but I can say for certain it is an exceptional book. Easily one of the best I've read in quite some time.

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